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Block house similar in R value to a basement?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by rmcfall, Aug 23, 2007.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Storm door issue first: A storm door also traps trememdeous het in the spacce between it and your primary exterior door so much so ,
    I have seen steel insulated doors blow apart at the seams It is dry out wood anc check and crack grains if at all possible a screen position has to be open spring to fall or the heat sink will ruin the interior and possibly the storm door very hard to close warped doors.

    Insulation I do not like the idea insulation in in the rafters and the ceiling. This situation is ripe to create a vapor lock in you attic space.
    First thing I would do is loose the insulation in the rafters. IF faced knife the facing and place it on your ceiling. Second item there would be to increase attic ventalation and air flow above the insulation barrier Sofit vents and ridge vent system. Make sure you do not have sofit vent blocked by insulation There are styrofoam bafflets that can be stapled up to create the air flow space and prevent it from being obstructed Having insulation in both spaces tends to cook the roof shingles above it will cause them to melt and fuse together and cause then to bubble and blister.

    You will be getting leaks and replacing roofs quite frenquently. Who ever did this did not know or factor all the framifications of the installation .

    So you already have the added insulation just place it where it belongs. Focus on your home sill area and I agree 60/70 double glazed Anderson windows were way ahead of there time and little gained replacing them Insulate all hot watyer pipes and heating pipes or ductwork If not heating the bssement then r19 in the joist cavities will be the most effective heat loss you can do

    there are other minor improvements but focus on that attic and straighten that out first the attic acccess neede draft sealing and insulation as well

    I know someone moved this off the heatrh room but it makes as much sense to make home energy inprovements that purchasing a stove. Probably more important than supplemental heat.

    It belongs where most can view it

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  2. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I'm not following you on loose the rafter insulation. Are you talking about the insulation that is on the roof portion not the ceiling portion? I know it can cause vapor problems but I have four of those spinning vents on the roof and they spin like mad all summmer. I cover them with trash bags in the winter. My roof is over 20 years old and the shingles are still in good shape. I will definately make sure I don't cover the eve vents when I blow in more insulation, but I'm not sure about ripping the stuff of the roof. I was even thinking about adding some eve vents. Do you think I need to add some?

    As far as the sill area. Are you talking about where the block basement meets the floor joists and walls? How should I insulate it. Is this a good place for spray foam? My concern about the crawl space is that it is under the bedrooms and those rooms are always colder than the rest of the house. Now, with me trying to heat a ranch house with a centrally located insert, I'm afraid the bedrooms will be even colder.

    On the plus side I have a big insert that is going in hopefully next week. If I can get the sweep out to clean the chimney first. I also have just past the five cord mark on my wood piles. I've been lucky I found a few long standing dead trees and a few leaners that appear to be really dry.

    Thanks for your help Elk.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Karl Attic insulation should be eityher the ceiling joist cavities of the rafter cavaties but not both take out the rafter cavity insulation an lay it on the cceiling joust, Your ventalation from the roof sounds fine..

    Soll the foundation and the su ill plates contact point it can be calked spray foamed of stuffed with fiberglass insulation using a putty knife, This is a huge draft infiltration area of homes your age..

    The crawl space is there plywood holding the insulation in place in the floor joist cavities?. If so caluk all seams and primeter sealing up air infiltration leaks duct tape may work spray foam will work Un fortunately there rooms will always be colder because the air under is cold all you can do is prevent leakage unluss you attach styrofoam sheets on it to increase the r value Even then I would draft seal them as well
  4. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Elk, there is no insulation on the floor joists in the crawl space.
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Elk. Thanks for the response. However, I wasn't referring to insulating my basement, but instead the block walls of my house. I am assuming my walls are very inefficient because they are simply brick, block, and plaster. There is only a small airspace between the block and the brick--about 1". So I was figuring that I am losing a lot of heat through the walls in the winter, the same as one would in a basement? That is where the mention of spray foam came in. That is, to build some new stud walls, apply the spray foam, and then cover with dry wall. I believe it sounds reasonable. What do you think?

    I do appreciate reading all the information regarding basement and crawlspace insulation, as that is on my list to do in the future.

    Rob


  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    so there is no insulation in the floor cavity spacing between the floor joist? and the rooms are always cold? crawl space area?

    Well this needs attention r19 at least r 21 better r25 even better if 2/10 or 2/12 floor joist R30.. No wonder they are always cold
    will you experience a huge improvement
  7. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Elk. I'll make insulating the crawl space priority number 2 behind the storm doors. Oh and the government only reccomends r-15 there. Do I really need more? Anyway, that will keep me busy this year. Don't worry, I'll have you scratching your head enough next year when we discuss the rest of the basement and I ask you how I should insulate the part of the basement that doesn't have a house over it. You gotta love the crazy chit people did in the 60's during the cold war. See if you have a book that tells you the R value of room with double concrete block walls, that are filled with concrete and have 6 inches of sand between between the the two sets of blocks. I was told the ceiling is 24" of reinforced concrete with a couple of feet of dirt on top. I can't see enough of the ceiling to tell you for sure that it's 24" but I've seen enough of it to tell you it's way over 12". You could build a house these days for just of the cost of that room. It's plumbed for a kitchen and a bath too. No fixtures in though. I guess Castro didn't scare them enough to finish it completely. I was born in 1971. Were people really that paranoid back then? I'm telling ya, I bet I could fire off a 30-30 off in that room and with the steel door closed you wouldn't hear it outside.
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Haaaaah the old bomb shelter I don't know if you are in the MTS of WV but if you are elevated a couple thousand feet you have simmilar day the we have but not as many Me if the rooms are cold then the extra rvalue to 19 would seem in order. It will also improve holding your AC temps and prevent heat intrusion. Many gov standards are minium does not hurt to exceed them

    This is one improvement that will work year round same labor to install R-19 6" as R15 3.5 " it just cost a bit more which you will recoup. It will also sound deaden the floors areas as well

    Hint long sleeve shirt, dust mask, eye /goggles protection ,and gloves and a shower afterwards to wash the itching off Aviation wire ti press in place to hold the insulation up vapor barrier towards the heated areaa
  9. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Karl. I just noticed you are from Huntington, WV. I am down river a little bit and on the other side in Ashland, KY.

    Before I thought you were considering using spray foam. Have you decided otherwise? If so, why?


  10. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the river valley part of West Virginia, I'm maybe a thousand feet above sea level. 500 feet is the norm around here and I'm on a hill. I have installed bat before and I know all about the itching. I'm considering spray foam because its quicker, easier, it seals the area better and it's a vapor barrier in its self. The only problem is that it's expensive, a buck a square foot to cover it and 2 bucks a square foot for r-15.

    Rmcfall, it's good so see someone close by on here. Maybe you can tell me how much wood I should expect to use this year?
  11. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Karl--it doesn't stay real cold here for too long. You will have some cold days in November and December, along with a mix of some nice days in the 50s. It doesn't really get COLD until January and February, and even then you can expect some decent weather (e.g., 50s) on some days. So if you are burning 24/7, I'd say 3 cords would be plenty to carry you from October through March, depending on how large your stove is.

    Last year I didn't get my stove installed until just before Christmas and I burned it 24/7 until things warmed up in March. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cords of wood in my new Woodstock Keystone. Rob
  12. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    You burnt a cord and a half? Oh wow. I have been listening to the guys in here from up north and they say 5 or 6 cords. I have over 5 split out back right now. I realize my stove is about twice the size of yours, but how big is your house? You have made me feel alot better about having enough wood.
  13. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Keep in mind I didn't start burning until late in the season (just before Christmas). Not including the basement, my sq. footage is around 2300 sq. feet, and the area with the stove is around 1400 sq. feet. I fed my stove in the morning before work, then after work, and again before bed. While the stove box isn't huge, I think it is a combination of the soapstone and the catalytic converter that really made the difference. It sure goes through a lot less wood than my previous cast-iron Waterford Ashling that I had in our prior house.
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